Tuesday (30/9/14) the Federal Senate voted to have an inquiry into the Queensland Government which is headed by Premier Campbell Newman. I think it is a great idea and long overdue and was always going to get the support of this website given there will be a review of certain elements of the judiciary as part of the Senate inquiry.
It was Clive Palmer and his Palmer United Party (PUP) that pushed for the Senate inquiry and they received the support of the Labor Party, Greens and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast party representative Ricky Muir. The Senate vote was 30-27 in favour. (Click here to read the PUP media release)
People are saying what Clive Palmer has done is motivated by a vendetta and that is possibly true. Others say he is crazy and that might be true as well. But the political and judicial system has needed a shake up for a long time and Clive Palmer should be given credit for attempting to do it.
The terms of reference for the Senate inquiry are broad:
“It has been tasked with examining the Queensland government’s use of federal funds paid to the state since March 2012, the month Newman took office. It will be required to present its final report by the end of March 2015, when the next Queensland election is due.”
(Glenn) “Lazarus secured majority support to suspend Senate standing orders on Tuesday to set up the inquiry, saying it would ensure the people of Queensland were heard.” (Click here to read more)
The judicial part of its terms reads:
(1)(b) the administration of the Queensland courts and judicial system insofar as it relates to cross vesting arrangements, with particular reference to judicial independence and separation of powers; (Click here to read the full terms of reference)
There could and should have been a national inquiry into judicial appointments and judicial corruption long ago and the Senate inquiry is a start.
A large part of the motivation for the judicial element of the Senate inquiry seems to be the appointment of Tim Carmody as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland. It was a very unpopular appointment:
Chief Justice Carmody’s appointment has been condemned by former judges Tony Fitzgerald and Richard Chesterman and sitting judge John Muir. This week Justice Muir said: “Every judge of both trial and appellate divisions of the Supreme Court has no confidence in the appointee and that was conveyed to him before he was sworn in.’’ (Click here to read more)
Tim Carmody must be extremely bad to upset all the other judges most of whom were appointed in a dodgy manner themselves. Obviously there is no honour amongst thieves anymore.
Examples of the dodgy judicial appointments
The Trade Union Royal Commission is meant to be about union corruption but has already had three current judicial officers as witnesses. All three were appointed for political reasons/personal relationships, not because of their ability. That gives an insight into how the judiciary really works.
The three judicial officers are:
1. Federal Court of Australia judge Justice Bernard Murphy who was appointed by Julia Gillard and was her old boss at Slater and Gordon lawyers when she was involved in the AWU fraud and worked there in the 1990’s. (Click here to read more)
2. Commissioner Ian Cambridge of the Fair Work Commission who was involved in covering-up the Julia Gillard – AWU fraud and was firstly appointed as a Commissioner of the NSWIRC in 1996 and then as a Commissioner of the FWC by Julia Gillard. (Click here to read more)
3. Commissioner Bernie Riordan of the Fair Work Commission. “Bill Shorten as Employment and Industrial Relations Minister appointed Bernie Riordan, secretary Electrical Trades Union New South Wales, as a Fair Work Commissioner. Bernie Riordan at the time was a thief on the run from his own members after he had stolen $1.8 million from the union. Bernie Riordan pocketed the $1.8 million in directors fees from industry boards he sat on that was meant to go to the Union.” (Click here to read more)
The Royal Commission only called three judicial officers as witnesses. Imagine if they had have called more. How dodgy would they have been? Add the above three to Tim Carmody and then you are starting to get a true picture of the judiciary in this country as it is only the tip of the iceberg. The Australian judiciary is in crisis and needs a major overhaul.
All political parties will be complaining about one inquiry or another as per the below Tweet. (#turc = Trade Union Royal Commission and #battsRC = Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program)
If the Queensland government has nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear and that is the way it should always be. But like most governments they will have skeletons in the closet. Once the Senate inquiry is finished in March next year they should start on another state until they have all been investigated and then start again. If every state government knew they were going to be investigated regularly then they wouldn’t be so corrupt in the first place.
A lot of voters want change because they are totally dissatisfied with the two major parties and they are prepared to support someone such as PUP who can deliver that change. Even if Clive Palmer is crazy and/or running a vendetta. Some people are predicting that PUP will lose a lot of votes at the next election because of the Senate inquiry but the opposite might be true.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on the judicial element of the Senate inquiry as it might set a precedent that is a real game changer as far as the judiciary is concerned.
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